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Betwixt two marble shafts:— there they reposed,
ing bell. “Why do you sigh, fair creature ?” whisper'd he : " Why do you think?” return'd she tenderly : “ You have deserted me; where am I now? Not in your heart while care weighs on your brow : No, no, you have dismiss'd me, and I go From your breast houseless : ay, it must be so." He answer'd, bending to her open eyes, Where he was mirror'd small in paradise, “My silver planet, both of eve and morn! Why will you plead yourself so sad forlorn, While I am striving how to fill my heart With deeper crimson and a double smart ? How to entangle, trammel up, and snare
Your soul in mine, and labyrinth you there,
“Sure some sweet name thou hast, though, by my
truth, I have not ask'd it, ever thinking thee Not mortal, but of heavenly progeny, As still I do. Hast any mortal name, Fit appellation for this dazzling frame? Or friends or kinsfolk on the citied earth, To share our marriage feast and nuptial mirth ?” “ I have no friends," said Lamia, “no, not one; My presence in wide Corinth hardly known. My parents' bones are in their dusty urns Sepulchred, where no kindled incense burns, Seeing all their luckless race are dead save me, And I neglect the holy rite for thee. Even as you list invite your many guests; But if, as now it seems, your vision rests With any pleasure on me, do not bid Old Apollonius — from him keep me hid.” Lycius, perplex'd at words so blind and blank, Made close inquiry; from whose touch she shrank, Feigning a sleep; and he to the dull shade Of deep sleep in a moment was betray'd.
It was the custom then to bring away The bride from home at blushing shut of day, Veil'd, in a chariot, heralded along By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song, With other pageants: but this fair unknown Had not a friend. So being left alone (Lycius was gone to summon all his kin), And knowing surely she could never win His foolish heart from its mad pompousness, She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress
The misery in fit magnificence.
to wall. So canopied, lay an untasted feast Teeming with odours. Lamia, regal drest, Silently paced about, and as she went, In pale contented sort of discontent, Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich The fretted splendour of each nook and niche. Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at first, Came jasper panels; then anon there burst Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees, And with the larger wove in small intricacies. Approving all, she faded at self-will, And shut the chamber up, close, hush'd and still, Complete and ready for the revels rude, When dreadful guests would come to spoil her
The day appear'd, and all the gossip rout. O senseless Lycius! Madman! wherefore flout The silent-blessing fate, warm cloister'd hours, And show to common eyes these secret bowers ? The herd approach'd; each guest, with busy brain, Arriving at the portal, gazed amain, And enter'd marvelling: for they knew the street, Remember'd it from childhood all complete Without a gap, yet ne'er before had seen That royal porch, that high-built fair demesne; So in they hurried all, mazed, curious and keen; Save one, who look'd thereon with eye severe, And with calm-planted steps walk'd in austere ; 'Twas Apollonius: something too he laugh’d, As though some knotty problem, that had daft His patient thought, had now begun to thaw And solve and melt: 'twas just as he foresaw.
He met within the murmurous vestibule His young disciple. “'Tis no common rule, Lycius," said he; “ for uninvited guest To force himself upon you, and infest With an unbidden presence the bright throng Of younger friends; yet must I do this wrong, And you forgive me.” Lycius blush'd, and led The old man through the inner doors broad-spread; With reconciling words and courteous mien Turning into sweet milk the sophist's spleen.
Of wealthy lustre was the banquet-room,